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Snoozer? Jeb Bush Launches Regulation Rollback Plan

(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Presidential debates have so far skirted talk about economic growth, but a plan released by Jeb Bush wants to change that.

On Tuesday, Bush published “The Regulatory Crisis in Washington,” wherein he declares the failure of the American regulatory system.

“Instead of improving our lives, regulation today too often oppresses and stifles the economy,” he wrote.

The main goals in the plan are to scale back existing federal regulation, give more regulatory responsibilities to the state, establish a regulatory budget, review regulations for effectiveness, expand Congressional oversight, and reduce bureaucratic delays.

The plan couples with his tax plan, and Bush says the two plans combined will save the average family $3,100 a year in taxes. Experts say that number is optimistic, but the plan has the potential to start a conversation about the hidden costs of regulation.

Patrick McLaughlin at National Review praised the plan as “deliberately multi-dimensional,” a realistic approach that knows a simple solution doesn’t exist.

Veronique de Rugy, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center of George Mason University, is more skeptical.

“While it’s encouraging that the governor cares about the issue, I fear the plan would only nibble at the edges of the regulatory monster by not going far enough to rein in the arrogance of regulatory agencies and their bureaucrats,” she wrote.

Critically examining regulation can emphasize the importance of effective regulations while pointing out areas where regulations do more harm than good. Implementing reforms can get tricky in the translation from theory to reality, however. It’s easy to dismiss them during a debate, but untangling the bureaucracy and evaluation the economic impact of bad regulations isn’t always obvious.

Especially for new businesses, regulation can be harmful. Federal and state agencies shouldn’t get a pass on critical scrutiny for their intentions. To encourage economic growth, regulation needs to effectively protect health and safety without hampering the economy. Whether Bush’s plan for reform can live up to that challenge is yet to be seen.


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